22 June 2003
The Minneapolis/St Paul area is apparently awash in tenants who haven't the faintest idea about how to live up to the responsibilities detailed in their leases. Are Twin Cities landlords cracking down on the clueless? Fat chance.
However, in lieu of actual cultural changes, there's an operation called the Housing Lifeskills Centre, developed by a property manager, which is a six-week course to teach these characters how to behave in a manner which won't get their sorry keisters evicted. "A lot of the things we teach," says instructor Linda McNew, "are things that you or I take for granted."
Saint Paul (the blogger, not the city) is incredulous:
There are full grown adults that don't have a natural sense of right and wrong when it comes to disorderliness, property damage, and nonpayment of bills? There are people who still don't get it, even after numerous visits by the police and angry confrontations with their neighbors and landlords?
There are. And if you don't rent to them, you'll probably be accused of the worst sort of discriminatory tactics.
What set of circumstances and/or life decisions lead one to this profoundly retarded worldview? How does one develop this sense of egoistic entitlement, where there's no connection made between your actions and, say, your income or housing status? What causes one to assume someone else is going take care of all your problems for you, no matter how much destruction you visit on yourself and your neighbors?
It's the same sort of devalued value system which says that no matter what your problem, it's always somebody else's fault, be it The System, The Government, or simply The Man.
There was a nice young couple (both military) who used to live upstairs from me; he dropped by the other day to visit some friends. "Nostalgic for the old homestead?" I teased. "A bit too much gunfire for us," he said.
Yeah, I'll get out of here one of these days and not in an ambulance, if I can help it. But the problems that exist here, like their counterparts in Minnesota, aren't going away any time soon, no matter how many cute little programs are instituted.